LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Category Archives: India

USF money being used for connectivity in India’s North East

Better late than never. Why it took multiple decades after the establishment of the Universal Service Fund to spend the money to connect the unconnected in India’s North East is the question. It’s not that there was a shortage of money. Bharti Airtel Ltd will set up 2,000 mobile towers across villages and national highways […]

Demand side work on BharatNet sparks conversation among entrepreneurs in Delhi

Research Fellow Vigneshwara Ilavarasan shared the findings of the demand side study on BharatNet in the pilot sites in an open seminar hosted by Center for Internet & Society, Delhi office. The study examined the absorptive capacity of potential and current users of BharatNet in the pilot sites and offered policy suggestions on the basis […]

Experiences at the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Institute

I recently had the opportunity to participate at the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Institute 2017 held at the University of Oxford thanks to the generous funding from the Ford Foundation. A variety of topics pertaining to Internet governance such as Internet architecture, net neutrality and multistakeholderism were discussed.  The sometimes-divergent views from those from those from […]

“Cost-strained optimisation: User perspectives of Internet use in India” released

LIRNEasia carried out qualitative research on user perspectives of Internet use in India among respondents from low and middle income households. It is a part of a series of research looking at the use of free and subsidised data in the developing world. The research was carried out with financial support from Mozilla, the UK Government’s […]

India contemplates reducing the universal service obligation levy, again

This is getting to be boring. Every few years, decision makers at TRAI and DoT float balloons about reducing the USO levy. We write commending it. Nothing happens. Another official said that besides increasing the payment tenure, the 5% levy towards Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) could also be reduced, more so as it would […]

TRAI consultation on broadband speed

LIRNEasia started working on broadband quality of service experience as long as as 2007. The early part of the story is narrated in this five minute video. One of the earliest conclusions we reached was that speed was just one dimension of performance. We communicated these findings to TRAI as long ago as in 2009. […]

As India gears up for GST, many question high rate for a “necessity” (telecom services)

The introduction of GST to replace the patchwork of state taxes is perhaps the Modi government’s greatest economic achievement. The new regime is expected to come into effect on July 1, 2017. Like everything in India, it’s complicated, with multiple bands and exceptions. It’s interesting that the 18 percent GST rate for telecom services is […]

Indian women to be fined for mobile use

A predominantly Muslim village in Uttar Pradesh, India, has announced that women seen talking on a mobile phone in public will be fined INR21,000 (approximately USD 325). The khap panchayat, or self-proclaimed community court, has labeled the act a “crime”, according to this NDTV article. A member of the Panchayat, Ghaffar Khan, offers justification that […]

India’s Voice and Data: “What’s preventing telecoms from entering BharatNet fray in India?”

More media in India are picking up on the importance of what we’ve learned about BharatNet. Voice and Data used information from the BharatNet study for a piece published on April 06, 2017. BharatNet (formally the National Optic Fibre Network) was meant to provide broadband internet to rural villages in India. While the existing network itself […]

Inclusive Internet, a new composite index that places India ahead of all S Asian nations

I always thought that composite indexes were unfair to India. However much India tried and whatever were its ICT achievements, they would all be diluted by the sheer number of Indians. The e Readiness Index that used to be published by the Economist Intelligence Unit used to be one exception. But then they stopped publishing […]

Dissemination of LIRNEasia BharatNet institutional-user survey findings in India

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LIRNEasia’s Research Fellow, Dr. P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan (Associate Professor, IIT Delhi) shared the findings of the demand side study of BhrataNet (here) with Mr Osama Manzar and team at Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi whose supply side study (here) is a perfect complementary work. Looking forward to work together to diffuse the BharatNet in rural […]

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